Economy
12:38 pm
Sun September 15, 2013

Fed Report Finds St. Louis Regional Economy Is Picking Up Steam

Economic growth across eastern and central Missouri and southern Illinois is picking up steam, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.  

Overall, the unemployment rate in the last quarter was just a hair below the national average, at 7.4 percent, and Kevin Kliesen, a business economist and research officer with the Fed in St. Louis, says there’s reason for optimism. 

“Payroll employment growth in the second quarter was the highest in about two years,” Kliesen says. "Services employment, which is the largest part of our economy, is showing particularly strong growth.  That’s pretty good news for the St. Louis area economy.”

On the flip side, manufacturing growth is a little sluggish, and Kliesen says he’s hearing anecdotally that could be the result of U.S. exports slowing down. 

But he adds that there are reasons to believe the global economy will pick back up, and that may ultimately bolster the domestic manufacturing sector.